Where Do You Work? Joanne Kolodziej

Joanne Kolodziej has been a licensed massage therapist for 20 years and a certified injury prevention instructor for more than six years.

In this interview, she shares why she got into the massage therapy profession, what she is doing now and why you should attend her self-care continuing education session Save Your Hands: Injury Prevention, Ergonomics & Self Care at the AMTA 2017 National Convention on September 16 in Pasadena, California.

What drew you to the massage therapy profession? How long have you been practicing?

I have been a licensed cosmetologist in Massachusetts for more than 30 years. I have been a licensed massage therapist for 20 years. My curiosity drew me to learn more about massage and the body through cosmetology. I decided to go to school for massage, and this drove me to become licensed. It allows me to offer massage at my salon/spa along with all of the cosmetology services.

What is your current work setting like?   

My current work setting is a full-service salon spa that I have owned for 22 years in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. I perform all of the services, and if I need an additional massage therapist, I have some on-call. I also teach an injury prevention workshop to massage therapists on weekends. 

What do you enjoy most about your current position?    

I enjoy being able to do both careers of massage and cosmetology. My treatments vary from a pedicure to a facial to a massage to a haircut to a perm, all in the same day. I love the variety and the freedom to be able to do everything. I love being a sole owner and proprietor. I love being able to schedule my clients for one-on-one service. I can truly say that I love what I do!

The challenges are that I am responsible for everything from cleaning, laundry and scheduling appointments to performing the services. I am pretty busy, but it is my passion, and the fact that my dreams have come true makes it all worth it.

How has AMTA impacted your career?    

AMTA has impacted me in the following ways:

  • Allowed me to promote injury prevention to massage therapists across the country.
  • Expanded my local presence because of the exposure I have received from participating in the AMTA 2017 National Convention.
  • Helped me redefine my career.
  • Helped me expand my business clientele and my network within the massage industry.

Why should massage therapists attend your session, "Save Your Hands: Injury Prevention, Ergonomics & Self Care," at the AMTA 2017 National Convention?     

Attendees should take my workshop because it teaches a holistic approach to body mechanics, ergonomics and self-care. Massage therapists need to take care of themselves to support their career longevity.

I will teach participants how to perform massage therapy at peak performance without risk of injury and how to expand their skills to increase awareness throughout their daily life.  

What are some self-care takeaways from your session that attendees won't read about in the session description?      

Among the information they will receive, they will learn the theory of a bowling ball as it relates to your body, which hand grips are best for massage therapists and which wrist position is best for optimal performance.

Attend Joanne's Session at the AMTA 2017 National Convention!

The AMTA 2017 National Convention is the largest and most prestigious conference in the massage therapy community, featuring inspiring speakers, continuing education, networking and the newest products at the Pasadena Convention Center.

Register for AMTA National Convention now »

Can't attend the AMTA 2017 National Convention? Try the online CE course Healthy Hands: How to Properly Take Care of Forearms, Hands and Wrists.

Self-Care for Massage Therapists

12 Self-Care Secrets | 4 CE Credits

Playful Self-Care Techniques for Hands & Wrists

WATCH: 3 Self-Care Tips from Fitness Expert Shaun T

"AMTA has been a tremendous resource over the years."

Jenn S., AMTA member since 1994